Academic achievement, attitudes towards education and the home-background : their relationship to absenteeism in selected school of the Lusaka Region, Zambia

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Mwape, Getrude kasuba
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Pupil absenteeism from school has been, and continues to be, a major disciplinary problem amongst pupils in Zambian schools. It was thought that absenteeism from school could toe seen as t/he consequence of an interaction amongst factors lying in the school, the individual and the home. The main purpose of the study was to identify some factors that may be related to pupil absenteeism from school. The factors that were investigated were academic achievement, attitudes towards education and home-background (i.e. marital status of parents; relationship of pupil to whoever he lived with; area of residence; occupation of parent(s)/guardian(s) and family size of whoever the pupil lived with). The sample consisted of forty—four absentees and forty-four non—absentees doing Grade Nine in 1987 in five Lusaka secondary schools. The results showed that significantly more absentees than non-absentees were low academic achievers. There were no significant differences between absentees and non-absentees as far as the overall scores on the Attitudes — towards - Education questionnaire, which was used to measure the pupils' attitudes towards education, were concerned. The results for the home-background showed that, except for mother's/female guardian's occupation, there were no significant differences between the absentees and non-absentees on the factors used to measure it. The findings supported the evidence in the literature on academic achievement but contradicted that on attitudes towards education, and the bulk of that on the home-background. Although there were no significant differences between the two groups of pupils oh the overall scores of the Attitudes — towards - Education questionnaire and on almost all of the factors used to measure the home-background, this does not mean that the findings contradicted Galloway's (1985) thesis. This is because there might be many other factors in the home and the individual that could influence pupil absenteeism from school. Finally, on the basis of the findings, some suggestions for further study were given and a few recommendations made.
Academic Achievement--zambia